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Subodh Kant Addresses International Tourism Ministers Conference At Paris
October 24, 2011
Subodh Kant Addresses International Tourism Ministers Conference At Paris


24 October 2011

New Delhi:
Union Minister for Tourism Shri Subodh Kant Sahai has said that annual conference of Tourism Ministers from G-20 countries is a forum for the growth and development of sustainable international tourism by promoting discussions and exchange of ideas between the major economies of the world that are also the major tourism market. Addressing the conference at Paris today he expressed the hope that the Conference would focus on creation of job opportunities in the tourism sector, thereby expanding the reach of economic benefits to larger segments of the world population. Shri Sahai said , “creation of employment opportunities is one of the main concerns worldwide, more so in the wake of the economic slow-down. Tourism plays a vital role in creating job opportunities for all strata of society that includes skilled, semi skilled and unskilled”.

The Tourism |Minister emphasized that tourism in recent years has developed into one of the world’s largest industry and a major engine for the economic growth. He said that Ministry of Tourism has set the target to increase India’s share in international tourist’s arrival from 0.6% to 1% by the year 2016 which in turn will be able to create 25 million additional jobs in India. Shri Sahai said that Government is formulating national and local developmental strategies in order to ensure that tourism plays a meaningful role in the overall socio-economic development at grass route level. He said “tourism plays a vital role in creating job opportunities, throws open the doors for participation to all sections of the society in the process of development which in turns contributes to the inclusive growth not just in India but across the world.

The Minister said that Travel & Tourism is increasingly intertwined with environmental sustainability. He said in spite of growing relevance and proving contribution to GDP, tourism still lacks due political and economic recognition. Shri Sahai said that against this background, Govt of India, UNWTO and WTTC have decided to join hands for making tourism as global agenda “Global leaders for Tourism campaign” through which it is hoped to position tourism as a driver for growth. Union Tourism Minister was of the opinion that stakeholder’s participation in development of tourism is of paramount importance. He said the stakeholders should guide policy as well as implement methodologies.

Shri Sahai expressed deep concerns about the barriers obstructing the growth of tourism and the travel advisories issued by some countries. He said , strict VISA regimes enforced by some countries are also a major deterrent to the growth of tourism. It is very important that countries along with the stakeholders are sensitized about these issues and we together take concrete steps to work towards barrier free or least barrier travel to promote tourism globally, the Minister added.

The 3-day annual conference of Tourism Ministers known as T-20 countries began in Paris today and will conclude on 26th of this month. The G 20 countries account for half of the international tourist’s arrival. The concept of T 20 came up in October 2009 during 18th WTO General Assembly when the member countries met to discuss the available contribution of travel and tourism to the economic stimuli.